Changes must occur for county to stay in the black
Pulaski County officials have been informed that if changes are not made to expenditures and revenue the county will be in a financial snafu by 2022.
Last year, the county hired Jeff Peters, of Peters Municipal Consultants, to review the county finances and to create a financial plan for the future. It was discovered that the county, towns, townships and libraries are losing money because of a levee tax freeze.
Peters talked with the commissioners and council members about where the county appears to be financially and what could happen in the next three years if the county continues with the same money management.
He gave the county officials a couple of options on how to fix the projected financial crisis including budget cuts, an increase in income taxes and going back to the legislature and asking for another special tax rate such as a continuation of the income tax that will expire in 2020.
The report broke down the general funds and the ending fund balance for 2015-2018. It projected the ending balance for 2019-2023. If the county continues to spend while bringing in the same revenue or a lack of, the county will be in the red in 2022 and 2023. In 2022, the county will be in the red $647,315 and $1,553,656 in 2023.
Peters said the county has time to decide what they need to cut and what they are willing to cut to balance the budget. Any adjustments that are made in regards to the income tax rate have to be done in October to be effective in 2020. It appears that a change to the levee freeze must be done then as well.